February 16, 2021


Ann Daly, Head Gardener at The Montenotte Hotel, spoke to us about the her work on our Victorian Gardens and Woodlands.

Ann discusses the Beauty of Nature’s change, the Rebirth of the Garden, her top recommendations on what to do in your garden right now to prepare for Spring's long awaited arrival and where we buy our plants and seeds...

The Beauty of Nature

The beauty of being in a garden is you constantly see the cycle of change brought by nature, which brings me hope and joy. It’s magic! It reminds you that nothing ever stays the same. Every time you look at a garden its different… Every. Single. Day. 

My role is to ensure the change is all positive. One of my core objectives is to have something beautiful or surprising to admire and enjoy always. The Victorian Gardens at The Montenotte Hotel is a pleasure Garden, the goal is to give pleasure to guests and visitors.

The Rebirth

Currently in the Victorian Gardens and woodlands we are enjoying the start of the emergence of new bulbs, with Snowdrops, Iris reticulata, Early Sensation Daffodils, Daphne and Primroses, which are extremely fragrant with an incredible perfume, sprouting up in the garden. 

I am looking forward to everything waking up and sprouting through... Another couple of weeks to wait until Spring and then there will be big changes. All resting on the hope of a little more sunshine and we should see the re-emergence very soon... The garden it just about to burst, birds are singing, positive energy in the air that spring is coming!

Ann's recommendations Part 1

There is still time to prepare your garden for Spring and it is the perfect time to move plants and add some new additions to your garden...

What to plant now:

  • Very good time to plant hedging, trees and fruit shrubs 
  • Good time to move any plants, all should be moved before March, as it is much safer for the plants 
  • Garlic and Broad beans, now is the time to plant these outside 
  • Sweet pea and nasturtium (edible for salads), and borage, buy them as seeds and plant in the next month

Ann's recommendations Part 2

Be prepared:

  • Clear and clean-up before the growth starts, including keeping on top of any weeding
  • Mulch now while plants are dormant, all mulching to be done before March
  • Plan what you are going to do in the garden – sketches, lists, plans for the year… Review the garden and looking at areas with gaps that you would like to improve
  • Fruit Bushes – I recommend pruning your fruit bushes now. I prefer to prune the fruit bushes in February rather than December, as a pesky Bullfinch eats the fresh bulbs off the bushes in my own garden if pruned too soon

Shop Local

Where do you order seeds? There are a lot of great online Irish companies offering high quality seeds, some of my favourites are Seedaholic, Seed Savers and Brown Envelope Seeds

Where do you buy plants?We recommend visiting your local garden centre, when safe to do so. We buy our plants locally from Beech Hill Garden Centre at The Cope Foundation, the team at Beech Hill are very knowledgeable and helpful.  We also buy from Green Peace nursery near the Halfway Roundabout in Ballinhassig in Cork. 

We look forward to welcoming our friends and guests back in 2021!

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